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Episode 1583

Made from Scratch

Enthusiastic book recommendations! Martha’s savoring the biography of Alexander von Humboldt, the 19th-century explorer, polymath, and naturalist who revolutionized our understanding of nature and predicted the effects of human activity on...

Episode 1600

Go Bananas

A caller wonders if she’s being hypersensitive about the way her boss addresses her in emails. Can the use of an employee’s first name ever reflect a power differential? And: a community choir director wants a term for “the act of...

Mal Comune Mezzo Gaudio

Anthony in Tallahassee, Florida, shares a favorite Italian saying, Mal comune mezzo gaudio, similar in meaning to the English proverb Troubles shared are trouble halved. The mezzo means “half,” as in mezzo soprano, and the gaudio, or...

Episode 1594

Familiar Strangers

If you take up texting and social media late in life, there’s a lot to learn! A twenty-something wants advice getting her dad up to speed on memes, Instagram, and animated images. Plus, when you’re on a long road trip, what do you call...

Umarell, the Italian Alter Kocker

You’ve seen this guy before: the older gent who strolls around at construction sites, asking questions, offering suggestions, and kibitizing about the activities there. The Italian dictionary Lo Zingarelli (Amazon) recently added the handy...